Go Away With … Ginger Rue

By Jae-Ha Kim
September 7, 2010

For children’s author Ginger Rue, the best trips are the ones where she can spend time with her two young children. Based in Northport, Ala., Rue, 39, says the best vacation memory she has is of “seeing the unadulterated joy on my daughters’ faces when we took them to Disney World. I’ll always treasure that.” As for the worst? “When my younger daughter got a stomach bug during a car trip to Dallas,” she recalls. Rue’s latest book “Jump” (Tricycle Press, $15.99) chronicles the life of a high school Mean Girl who develops some empathy when she unexpectedly jumps into the bodies of some of the kids she has bullied. “Jump” hits stores on Sept. 14.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Right now I’m loving Disney World, because I have two little girls. I wish I could live there with them in Cinderella’s castle! But I really believe that almost anywhere you go is a great place to be if you’re with someone you love. I’d rather be with my daughters anywhere than in even the most beautiful setting without them. My favorite place to be is wherever they are.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. A lot of times lately, I’ll throw a change of clothes in a bag and drive over to Columbus, Miss., and hang out with my cousin, Carolyn. There are some cool things to do in Columbus, if you visit the right time of year. They have beautiful antebellum homes. During Heritage Week in October, they give tours and the kids from the math and science school dress up in period costumes and stand next to tombstones in the cemetery and tell the stories of the people buried there. How cool is that?! I also love Oxford, Miss., where you can tour the home of my favorite author, William Faulkner. Both towns have that small town, Southern feel and I love visiting friends and family there.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. Malibu Beach Inn (www.malibubeachinn.com) is hard to beat. It’s a beautiful location, has great accommodations, a friendly staff and everything on the restaurant menu is terrific. I love sitting on the balcony in the early morning and watching the surfers. Down south, Perdido Beach Resort (www.perdidobeachresort.com) in Orange Beach, Ala., is really nice. (I also like the) Edgewater Beach Resort (www.edgewaterbeachresort.com) in the Florida panhandle.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. One of the best reasons for living where I do is Taco Casa (www.tacocasa.com). Whenever my brother comes in from Texas, it’s the first place we go. Everyone who attends the University of Alabama becomes addicted to it. I like low-key, casual places. The best hotdog I ever had was at Michael’s Chicago-Style Red Hots (www.michaelshotdogs.com) in Highland Park, Ill. Pete’s Cafe & Bar (www.petescafe.com) in downtown Los Angeles is terrific — order the blue cheese fries. Trust me! Allegria (www.allegriamalibu.com) in Malibu has really good tiramisu.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. Whenever I fly, I wear what I call my Ugly Airplane Shoes. I like to be comfortable, but I got sick of having to lace up tennis shoes when going through security checkpoints, so I got some off-brand Vans. The least obnoxious pair the store had was a pink and chocolate brown plaid, which I’m sure looks ridiculous on a woman my age, but I love them because I can wear socks with them, so my feet don’t get cold. I also have this awesome hoodie I always wear on planes that’s the perfect weight and is my favorite shade of blue). I always carry a backpack with books on my to-be-read list. I actually almost enjoy sitting around in airports just because I get uninterrupted reading time.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. Not in order, my favorite cities are Oxford, Miss., Orlando, Fla., Malibu, New York and Chicago.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. It depends on who’s going with me or who lives there. I usually like to visit friends who are locals and have them give me the insider’s tour.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. I’m thinking about going to London next summer. I’d love to see all the places I studied in British lit and visit the museums and such.

©2010 JAE-HA KIM

Photo by Skip Baumhower

Comments (5)

  1. john conger says:

    love the interview!

  2. Sharon Mangas says:

    Great article on Ginger! She’s a wonderful writer and an awesome mother. Reading a little about her favorite places has given me some new places to put on my “list!”

  3. Cita Smith says:

    I love this novel and plan to teach it to my 8th grade girls. It’s a modern twist on one of the oldest stories in the world–walk a mile in my shoes. It’s a great read!

  4. Margaret Conger says:

    Great interview on one of my favorite young adult authors!

  5. Leslie Fain says:

    I like the bit about wanting to live in the castle with the girls. If my boys chose to be stuck with me anywhere forever, it would probably be places like Tractor Supply or Lowe’s.

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